Open Atom in new window from right-click menu?


I just discovered Atom and am looking at whether it will work for me in a cross-platform environment. One capability I really need is the ability to open a file in a new window by right-clicking on the file. Right now, if I already have an Atom window open, the file is simply opened as a new tab in that window. I need this because I often look at old files to see how I did something previously and need them side-by-side where I can see both at the same time.

My first thought was “there’s probably a command line option to do this - all I need to do is modify the context menu to invoke it”. I didn’t find a list of options in the Flight Manual but Google searches produced hits that indicated they exist. I kept running across references to Shell Commands and found a section in the manual that said “In the Atom menu bar there is a command named “Install Shell Commands” which installs a new command in your Terminal called atom . You can run this with a file path to open up that file in Atom.” However, I’ve been through each of the dropdown menus and don’t see anything remotely like this. This is on version 1.19.5 installed using the 64-bit Windows Installer from the website. I did find a package called “Atom Shell Commands” which I installed and it shows up in the Packages dropdown but it simply shows various “goto error” options. I don’t think that was what I’m after because I’ve seen at least one post that showed “atom -help” being executed in a cmd window which produced a list of options (one of which is what I’m looking for). However, on my installation this command does nothing - just returns to the prompt without even starting the editor. Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong?



The issue has now been resolved. The problem was that I had found atom.exe (421KB) installed not in “Program Files” like I would have expected, but in “.\AppData\Local\atom”. Additionally, I also found atom.ico in the same directory. This was the executable I was trying to run at the command line that didn’t produce a help output, although double clicking on this in an Explorer window started the editor up with no problems. However, also in this directory was a subdirectory called app-1.19.5 and it too had an atom.exe (79,477KB). When I switched my cmd window to this directory and did “atom -h” I got my help screen. So I modified the right-click context window to have both a “Open with Atom” and an “Open with Atom (New Window)” option. To the second entry I added the “-n %1” for the options and now I have exactly what I want. The second one will open an instance of Atom in a new window even though there is already an existing window.


You can also have files open side-by-side in Atom, by using the Split context menu items.


I was not aware of that (like many other things at this point). Found it, tried it and yes, that will work too for what I need. Thanks for the tip.